November 12th, 2007


One Laptop Per Child: sale begins today

    "... a new laptop that's spillproof, rainproof, dustproof and drop-proof. It's fanless, it's silent and it weighs 3.2 pounds. One battery charge will power six hours of heavy activity, or 24 hours of reading. The laptop has a built-in video camera, microphone, memory-card slot, graphics tablet, game-pad controllers and a screen that rotates into a tablet configuration. And this laptop will cost $200."
    -- New York Times, 2007-10-04

One Laptop Per Child started out with the goal of designing a computer that would cost $100, and be usable by kids in third world countries with no computer literacy (or even literacy) to begin with, and no infrastructure (safe storage, power plugs, ...). They ended up with one that costs $200, and now it's ready to see if they meet the other goals. Along the way, they designed something wacky, weird, and new: it has no disk (it uses 512MB flash storage), a completely new user interface, can be charged by solar power or hand crank, and has an unusual security model, among other things.
    "Starting November 12, One Laptop Per Child will be offering a Give 1 Get 1 Program for a brief window of time in North America. For $399, you will be purchasing two laptops XOone that will be sent to empower a child to learn in a developing nation, and one that will be sent to your child at home."

These XO Laptops are intended for participating governments of third world countries, to distribute to children, and they say this fundraiser is the only time they'll be selling them here in North America.

XO Laptops can auto-sense each other's proximity, and make it easy for you to quickly start interacting with the other laptops ("let's draw together!"). Which means they're more fun when there are more of them around. I'm gonna get one. Who else?